5/07/2010

Corporate Survival Guide: Retreatise

Success on the battlefield doesn’t just depend on how you win, but also how well you lose. The strategy of retreat is exceptionally important not just for how you save your arm and your skin, but also how fast you can make it back to the town to get your story told first.

Besides, as the abbreviated saying goes, “He who fights and runs away lives.”

Similarly, today's Corporate Warrior must know when to charge and when to high-tail it out of there. Sometimes the enemy is too powerful and you must cede the field. And sometimes the other side has compromising pictures of you from the holiday party.

It’s at these times that you have to know how to quit.

One of the most crucial elements of quitting is the goodbye email. This final communication to the team must strike the right note of camaraderie, professionalism, and awesomeness that will leave your co-workers and management with a feeling of warmth and envy for the opportunities that you are pursuing. Even if you’re quitting to flip burgers or pursue the life of homelessness that beckons every time you step over the vagrants on your way into the office, you want to leave your peers with the feeling that your life will surely be better than theirs. This usually entails bold lies, but since you'll never see them again, who's to know?

But it’s tricky composing this email. Many corporate warriors have spent their entire career composing their magnum opus, but still failed to deliver a compelling case. You can do better.

And you will do better by using this handy template I've created, which is suitable for most corporate situations you will encounter. I've borrowed the template from another blog, so I should give credit here, but I feel my additions more than make up for this flagrant theft of copyrighted material.

[To Whom it May Concern, Dear Coworkers, Fellow Drones, Life-Sucking Parasites],

After [make up a number here; nobody will know or care] [years, memos, cups of coffee, harassment complaints], the time has come for me to move on. Although it was a difficult decision made over a series of [weeks, months, beers], I feel it is something I must do because I:

A. ______ want to spend more time with my [family, dog, self]

B. ______ am taking advantage of a new, exciting opportunity

C. ______ am bored out of my mind

D. ______ have been fired for gross and disgusting insubordination

E. ______ need to get my inbox down to zero messages

F. ______ none of the above

G. ______ all of the above except F

H. ______ some combination of ABCDE: __________

I. ______ other reason (please explain in 1 word or less): __________


Good luck to everyone here. It's been my pleasure and honor to work with each and every one of you [optional: list every person in the organization][optional: except [list people you hated]]. Know that I'll be rooting for the team regardless of what I may be doing at your direct competitor. It's a small [industry, valley, city, world, galaxy]; I'm sure we'll have the chance to work together again.

Should anyone feel like contacting me in the future, you can always reach me at [you should give a fake email address here, since nobody will bother. Your are dead to them now].

[Good luck!, Go team!, Love and kisses!, So Long Suckers!]
[Your name here]
So go ahead, use the template. Send out the email and then get the Hell out of the building before Facilities wonders what happened to all of the office supplies on the second floor.
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